Bristol mayoral election: Giving us a greater voice
A FIGUREHEAD for the city is bound to mean that we have a much greater voice in London, Brussels and on the international stage, to draw investment to the region.
But whether Bristol ends up with the £1 billion – mainly from new powers to raise loans – promised by the Government remains to be seen.
The City Deal appears fantastic on paper and senior ministers have been pledging their support for more funding to come our way, but cynics say that civil servants will make sure that the small print is in place before the coffers are opened – and Whitehall bureaucracy usually works in months, not weeks.
Some campaigners in favour of an elected mayor believe that the Government will be tripping over itself to throw some money at Bristol, to show voters in other cities who rejected the new system that elected mayors can work.
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We also have to consider what experts call "soft power".
This is the influence that an elected mayor is likely to wield because they are voted into power by the city's 320,000 voters.
It means that when they pick up the phone and talk to the Prime Minister, a senior minister or a bureaucrat in Brussels, they can say with conviction that they are speaking on behalf of the people of Bristol.
That is something we have never had before and something which should help the city to leapfrog those cities which said no at the referendum.